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Lipowiec - Babice

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Brief History of the castle in Lipowiec -Babice.

Lipowiec castle is preserved in the form of protected ruins, which are open to the public for viewing. The origins of the castle in Lipowiec, which for centuries belonged to the bishopric of Krakow, go back to the thirteenth century. Then on a high hill named Lipowiec, the construction of a small fortress was undertaken. It was to act as protection and provide safety for the many buildings on the trade route from Cracow to Silesia. The bishop of Krakow Jan Prandota acquired the Lipowiec stronghold in the year of 1243. Another important bishop, who became the owner of the building was Jan Muskat. Until the end of the eighteenth century, the castle and the surrounding goods were managed by various lords, representing the bishops of Cracow. In the days of Prandota, the fortress was enlarged and the construction of a brick castle was undertaken. During the reign of Muskat, Lipowiec castle became his claim in a defensive struggle for the throne of "Wladyslaw the Short." The bishop Jan Muskat had ambitions to significantly strengthen its power to pursue and strengthen towns and castles belonging to his diocese. However, after Muscat came into conflict with the future king, he was exiled from his diocese, and shelter in the Lipowiec castle.

During the reign of Casimir the Great the Castle in Lipowiec began to function as a border fortress, as well as continuing its defense functions along the mercantile route, which ran at the foot of the castle hill in Lipowiec. In the fourteenth and fifteenth century, the castle was rebuilt several times. By the fifteenth century, it was taking shape close to the present-day appearance of the castle, with a clearly dominant tower over the body of the building. Restlessness at the beginning the fifteenth century, which abounded in the Hussite wars, favored strengthening the defense of the castle. It was then surrounded by a deep moat with a drawbridge, while the buildings were surrounded by an extra defensive wall. Most developers involved in the construction of the castle during the medieval times in Lipowiec were bishops.

With the growing reformation of the church, the castle in Lipowiec was appointed a prison for priests. Prisoners were usually clerics, according to the church authorities who spread heresies, as well as those who committed common crimes and misdemeanors. The most famous prisoner was one from Italy "Franciszek Stankar," who already was in prison, when he began his work on the reform of the Church. The adaptation works  started in the fifteenth century, turning the castle into a prison, gained momentum in the sixteenth century. In times of peace and political stability, there was no need for additional strengthening of the castle fortifications, therefor it was mainly focused on deepening the role of the prison.  The work was commanded by two bishops: John Konarski, and Andrew Zebrzydowski.

The seventeenth century brought the downfall of the castle. This happened as a result of the damage that the stronghold in Lipowiec encountered during a great fire in the early seventeenth century and during the Swedish invasion in the middle of the century. Another reason for the loss of the splendor of this castle, was the changing trend in architecture, according to which the castle in Lipowiec was outdated and no longer meet the standards of living residence for bishops.

The castle remained in the state of oblivion until the first half of the eighteenth century, when bishop Felicjan Szaniawski undertook its reconstruction. In the meantime, the walls of the castle played host to King Jan III Sobieski, who stopped in Lipowiec in 1683, during an expedition to Vienna. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the castle passed to the State, and then into private hands. Unfortunately, also during this time a great fire broke out within the castle, which did enormous damage not only inside but also to the roof of the castle. After this tragedy, the castle never returned to the state of its medieval glory.

Mainly ruins of the castle survived until the mid-twentieth century, when the decision was taken to protect this monument. The castle at this time under went partial reconstructions, that were aimed at protecting the already decayed architectural elements from further destruction. The castle is designed to be explored and is listed as a "historic building in a permanent state of ruin."


Opening hours:

The castle is open all year within the following times. Including Sundays and Holidays.

  • April – September: 8.00 – 18.00
  • October – March: 8.00 – 15.00

Last entry to the castle is 15 minutes before closing time.


Ticket prices for 2011:

  • Normal Ticket – 6zł
  • Reduced Ticket – 4zł
  • Free admisson on Mondays (except over Christmas)
  • Guide - 11zł (only available for groups over 10 people in the days from Monday to Friday)
  • Children up to 7 go free, unless they are part of an organized group.


Location and Other Attractions in the Area


The castle ruins in Lipowiec -Babice are located to the west of Krakow and north of Zator. If driving from krakow to Babice, then you would need to follow road number 780.

Distances to the castle in Lipowiec -Babice from:


Other Attractions in the area:


Sucha Beskidzka is a very attractive little tourist town. One of the most famous attractions here is the Renaissance castle, now known as "The Little Wawel" it was built from 1554 to 1580.


Auschwitz & Auschwitz Birkenau are located in the Polish town of Oświęcim. If coming by public transport, then ask your driver before you enter the bus if they will be going to the museum as many buses from Krakow do go directly to the museum. 


Kalwaria Zebrzydowska is a very important pilgrimage site in Poland, situated about 30km south-west of Kraków center. It was created as a faithful duplicate of Jerusalem. 


Zator is a small town about 20km from Oświęcim on the road number 28 towards Nowy Sącz. If you are driving to Krakow from Auschwitz, then you will leave the road number 28 in Zator. 



Zamek Lipowiec Wygiełzów

ul. Podzamcze 1
32-551 Babice
Tel. (+32) 613 40 62




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